Six by Two

by The Askew Sisters

A six track EP introducing Emily and Hazel Askew who are a young duo playing mainly traditional music and songs in a modern and exciting style. 



Emily and Hazel Askew were born and bred in London, but were diluted from a young age with regular visits to Sidmouth Festival and folk dances. As time passed they became increasingly interested in the music side and have gradually built up skills on various instruments, much to the dismay of their neighbours. They have been playing together for years, and were both in Hampshire based band Rubber Chicken, which Emily formed. In the last year they have started working seriously as a duo, now on fiddle and melodeon with the addition of songs.

Chasse Pain:By Giles Chabanet.

This tune was written by the Hurdy Gurdy player, Giles Chabanet. Hazel learnt it from fellow melodeon player Nick Cooke at Sidmouth.


Robin Wood and the Pedlar

e slightly adapted this song from a version collected from George Trainer in Sussex. We like to think of it as an old fashioned mugging tale, it makes us feel more at home, being from London!


Little Polly Polka / Dick Iriss Hornpipe

Little Polly is a great English polka we picked up somewhere. Dick Iriss Hornpipe was learnt at Sheffield folk festival and is a brilliant tune from 
the East Anglian step dancing tradition.


Hanter Dro

This is a lovely French dance tune used for a type of French dance involving linking little fingers. Hazel learnt it from Julian Sutton at a Melodeons at Witney workshop.


Sovay

This is a great song about a woman trying to find out if her lover is worthy enough to marry. I wonder if he did marry her after this......shes certainly not for the weak hearted!


Glorishears / Eleanor Rigby

Glorishears is a morris tune, and this version is from the Fieldtown tradition. Eleanor Rigby is the result of a Music Technology experiment as part of Emilys AS level coursework!

Chasse Pain
Sample not available
Robin Wood and the Pedlar
Sample not available
Little Polly Polka / Dick Iris’s Hornpipe
Sample not available
Hanter Dro
Sample not available
Sovay
Sample not available
Glorishears / Eleanor Rigby
Sample not available

Folk London

The folk scene is currently blessed with some outstanding young talents. To their number we can now add sisters Hazel and Emily Askew. This EP features two songs and four sets of tunes on fiddle (Emily) and melodeon (Hazel). Their arrangements made me feel rather old: they are clearly the products of a session scene that owes a massive debt to Chris Wood and Andy Cutting. This is evident in the arrangements, and also in the selection of material: the stand?out track is Chasse Pain (written by the hurdy?gurdy player Gilles Chabenat), one of two French tunes here. The songs are not quite as convincing as the tunes. Hazel has a sweet voice, but does not yet have the fire or body to it to make that old warhorse Sovay her own. Robin Wood and the Pedlar, though, grew on me with repeated listenings, and makes me optimistic for their future development in this direction. Their instrumental skills are in no doubt, however, and the tunes develop in interesting and dynamic ways. If they have a flaw it is the highly desirable one that their arrangements tend to be rather tasteful. It would be nice to hear them cut loose a little more, and they clearly can. On the last track, for example, they breeze through Glorishears then knock the stuffing out of Eleanor Rigby, turning it into the surprise morris tune of the year. Id like to hear more of this, and I look forward to seeing them live.

Mardles

Mike Everett

Emily and Hazel Askew were semifinalists in the 2005 BBC Young Folk Awards. They are a young duo from London who perform mainly traditional music and songs. This taster `EP resulted from their having gone to Wild Goose Records to record a demo but they so impressed Doug Bailey that this six track CD was the result.

Emily plays the fiddle and hazel plays the melodeon and provides the vocals. These six tracks feature four tune sets and two songs. The tunes show their wide influences with a French hurdy?gurdy tune, a French dance tune, an English polka and hornpipe and a wonderful set with Glorishears, the Cotswold Morris tune, and variations on Eleanor Rigby! The songs are a version of the Sussex song, Robin Wood and the Pedlar, and Sovay.

Im already looking forward to their first full length CD. Look out for these two at festivals this summer and you wont be disappointed.

Shreds & Patches

Baz Parkes

In the accompanying press release, Doug Bailey hopes �these two youngsters impress you as much as they did me.� They did. Four tune sets and two songs on fiddle and melodeon performed with skill and sensitivity. 'the sampler' (or EP, I suppose!) opens with a hurdy gurdy tune Chasse Pain and sets a high standard for what follows. Little Polly/Dick Iris's Hornpipe are played with a drive that suggests a background in playing for dancing (Hampshire based Rubber Chicken, apparently). I don't usually like any tune ending in �Dro� (too much finger linking and swaying for my liking!)

but the interplay between box and fiddle on Hanter Dro almost won me over. My test for any recorded morris tune is twofold.

1) Could you dance to it?

2) 2) Does it still sound good?

And the answer to both of these as the girls belt out Glorishears is a resounding �Yes�.  And the segue into a slip jiggy Eleanor Rigby is wonderful, and makes you wonder why nobody thought of it before. Youth, I suppose.

The two song sets, Robin Wood and the Pedlar  (Typo, or alternative title?) and Sovay are well arranged, and the singing competent, though I suspect voices are still developing. If you want a term of reference, think Spiers and Boden, with less stamping. And nicer shoes (Possibly). Please sir, I want some more.

 

Whats Afoot

Colin Andrews

More young talent, this time in the form of two sisters exposed from an early age to the wonders of Sidmouth Festival. This EP style album of just 6 tracks certainly leaves you wanting more. The instrumentals, on fiddle & accordion (they both played in the Hampshirebased band Rubber Chicken) are truly inspring ? Glorishears twinned with Eleanor Rigby for example. One might detect influences from other notable folk accompanists on the backing to Hazels vocals on Sovay and a Robin Hood (Wood on the sleeve notes) ballad, but there is also home?grown originality.

Already making an impression nationally by reaching the semi?finals (at least) of the BBC Young Folk Awards, I doubt if it will be long before Emily & Hazel are featuring prominently on the guest list of major folk festivals around the country.

The Folk Mag.

Paul Ryan

This is a short CD of six tracks by a young duo. Emily Askew plays fiddle

and her sister Hazel plays melodeon and sings. I liked them a lot and think

that quite a few clubs would be interested in booking this up and coming

act. On listening to all the tracks on this EP, what strikes me most is the

confidence and skill that both girls display in their playing, which belies

their young age. Tracks I particularly liked were Chasse Pain, this was

written by Giles Chabanet a hurdy gurdy player, and Hanter Dro, a Breton

dance tune. Sovay, using just the fiddle and voice, I thought was quite well

done as I have always thought it a difficult song to get across. It would be

nice to hear a complete CD just to see the range of material that they can

play.